Opening prayer 21 February 2016

God of heaven

Father of countless stars and galaxies

the light of which pierces the darkness of our night sky

revealing to us the vastness of your creation, and your love

we cannot count the stars, we cannot name them all

but you know each one, you made each one, you name each one

from the wonder and glory of your whole creation, you reveal to us innumerable stars and show us the many, many children of Abraham there are,

all your children, all named and known and loved by you

we are here, as children of Abraham, gathered to worship and praise you, gathered to find comfort under your wings, gathered to grow in faith and discipleship

Come to us, Lord God

in this hour, through your holy spirit

gather us up into your arms and disclose to us the promise you have for us, once more

you are our God, our shield, our very great reward

you are with us to the end of time

remind us, again, your promise is true and on that we can rely

But heavenly father, though your promises are true, your commitment to us total

we struggle to see how they are being worked out in your world

we see ourselves as limited in what we can do, due to our age, time we can commit, the sense we will not live to see your covenant blessing come to fruition

so we give up trying to live out your kingdom way in all we say and do

we give up trying to welcome the stranger, the returner, the lost

we give up looking at the stars and counting them,

knowing your children are as numerous as they are

All wondrous God

we are truly sorry for these and all the many other ways in which we have failed to trust you completely and neglected your way, uncovered to us through Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom all our sins are forgiven now and forever